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Four Hellenistic First Lines Restored

  • M.L. West (a1)

The grammarian Marius Plotius Sacerdos, whose work is to be found in Keil's Grammatici Latini, vi. 427–546, quotes a number of Greek verses, whose authors he does not specify, to illustrate various metres. He derives them from some earlier Greek metrician, whose practice, like Hephaestion's, was to take his examples from the beginnings of poems. In most cases they have been corrupted by copyists who knew no Greek, sometimes so badly that where the verse is not known from another source it can no longer be restored. But unlike corruptions in Greek traditions, they are almost purely visual in nature.

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1 1 I shall give the readings of the two manuscripts in this order in each case.

2 For this motif see HSCP 73 (1968), 132 f.

3 In the absence of a genuine Latin example, Sacerdos has created one by adapting Hor. Iamb. 7. 3–4. In other instances he invents his own Latin examples, revealing a certain ignorance of classical prosody.

4 This would happen most easily with a zeta written in the old way, I. Examples of this form occur perhaps as late as the early second century A.D.-not as late as Sacerdos, but this particular corruption might go back to his source.

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The Classical Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0009-8388
  • EISSN: 1471-6844
  • URL: /core/journals/classical-quarterly
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